Day #941:Seneca on How We Use Time

One of the biggest challenges we have as humans is our ability to appreciate time as it relates to our existence. We know about time and we now it’s limited, yet we live our lives like the time we have is unlimited. We put off what we need to do today to some ideal time when we believe we will have enough resources, energy and will power to do what we should do. An ideal time called ‘tomorrow’.

No one has written clearly about this than Roman philosopher Seneca. In his treatise On the Shortness of Life  penned 2,000 years ago, Seneca talks about the human ability to squander time. He writes:

You are living as if destined to live for ever; your own frailty never occurs to you; you don’t notice how much time has already passed, but squander it as though you had a full and overflowing supply — though all the while that very day which you are devoting to somebody or something may be your last. You act like mortals in all that you fear, and like immortals in all that you desire… How late it is to begin really to live just when life must end! How stupid to forget our mortality, and put off sensible plans to our fiftieth and sixtieth years, aiming to begin life from a point at which few have arrived!

On living in the moment and taking everyday as it comes, Seneca admonishes:

Putting things off is the biggest waste of life: it snatches away each day as it comes, and denies us the present by promising the future. The greatest obstacle to living is expectancy, which hangs upon tomorrow and loses today. You are arranging what lies in Fortune’s control, and abandoning what lies in yours. What are you looking at? To what goal are you straining? The whole future lies in uncertainty: live immediately.

As you move forward in 2016, bearing in mind today is already the 17th of January, know that how you use you time, every single hour, minute, seconds is what will determine how this year will be different from last year and the year before that. If you want a different result this year than you had last year, best to start checking how you use your time.

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